[1/31/2022> inching closer to completing our journal archiving, only 2005—2007 left + the entries become more + more sparse as we started to post more on 5cense > also note there's the Calamari/Sleepingfish news feed ... 2 put things in chronillogical per5pective + b4 Twitter existed we wd "flash" micro-blogs > after 2004, our 1st journal entry of 2005 we posted on 5cense as The Aztec Glass Cage Exhibitionists ]
[ the timestamp on this foto = 1/1/2005 but obviously it was taken b4 this ]
January 7, 2005 – NYC
The last entry we put on 5 cense. This is an uncensored entry, for my consumption only. 2005. P.S. At Least We Died Trying to Make You in the Backseat of a Taxidermist was released today. I mean, I already printed a bunch up and overhauled the website and all that, but sent the official announcement just now. So we’ll see how that does. It soaked up a lot of color ink—it is getting expensive and time-consuming to do these color chapbooks. Might have to start going the regular printer route soon. Peter Markus is up next. I have the final round of edits in my court. And I made the cover. Went out and bought a bunch of art supplies, ink and paint and what not. Starting to do art on index cards. Now I just have to put the book together after I do the final edits. That will go to book mobil for printing. I also got an email from some guy Martin Gray who said he had a long unpublished poem by Jackson Pollock! I’ll see it when I believe it, but wouldn’t that be crazy?
Work at Princeton Review is getting incredibly boring. I can’t last a whole week without having to invent excuses to take a day off or leave early. But the good news is that I am starting to get interviews. Met with Cora, who is at EMI, they basically offered me a short 3-day gig for $40/hr. that would probably lead to a longer thing, but its pretty dry tech writing, the kind of stuff I was doing for Universal Music. I don’t really think it’s a step forward. I had an interview at International Center of Photography earlier this week, that I thought went well, but we’ll see. They had a lot of other applicants queued up. And today I had a phone interview with MTV, for a project manager position. Hard to tell about that one. I’ve applied for a few positions there, and Lisa Selden (who now works for MTV digital) sent my resume around, which may have led to this interview, but I’m not even sure as it wasn’t either of the two positions that she mentioned. Jack Vaughn also mentioned that he met with her today, its all very incestuous. So far the ICP gig sounds most appealing. Working in around cool photography all day long. That would just be two awesome. Earlier in the week I went and checked out the Eugene Meatyard exhibit, which was amazing. They also had some short films by William Kentridge, most of which I had already seen in DC.
I’ve been doing more freelance restaurant reviews as well for Asian Food Journal. Its pretty fun and we get free food. [Bedder-½] is in Houston right now, a site visit. Poor thing. The weather sucks and she got diverted all over the place. I don’t miss traveling in January. She gets back tonight. She is taking her pottery class on Saturdays. We have a three-day weekend this weekend. Hope to see a lot of movies, read some books. I finished George Saunders, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline—some trippy post-apocalyptic stuff. Interesting. Also started on a Chinua Achebe book. And of course, lots of literary journals. Ok, I guess I’ll take advantage of this time to make some headway on Poste Restante.
[samples of sum of our food writing]
January 30, 2005 – NYC
Hanging out on a mellow Sunday. Fighting off a cold. Bedder-½ is to. She is sleeping next to me. We are listing to Beck’s Sea Change or Arcade Fire or Radiohead. Its cold as hell. Last weekend it snowed about a foot. The storm of 2005. Today they held elections in Iraq. Johnny Carson died a few days ago. Sponge Bob Square Pants is being censored because he promotes a gay lifestyle. 10-year old kids are being arrested and charged with a felony for drawing pictures of their friend being hanged. This is America January 2005. Still no leads on getting out of here. I had some pieces accepted to the Prague Literary Review and was asking the editor Travis Jeppensen, what his take on living in Prague was. Sounds cool if it was just further south and not landlocked. Its hard enough finding work in this country. Still waiting on the ICP job. My fingers are crossed. Life at the Princeton Review is just so fucking boring. We’ll see. I suppose we just have to stick it out and hope something comes our way.
What else. Reading a lot of literary journals, trying to keep up with what’s what. Not too many bands out there appealing to me. Arcade Fire is growing on me, starting to like them more and more. We’ve had these $1 passes to see movies, so have been seeing a lot lately, which is weird for us (in theatres). Saw Almodovar’s new one, Bad Education or whatever it was called, it was good, but had holes, but still, compared to most American films, it’s a breath of fresh air. Also saw Flying Daggers which also, complete over the top and had its holes, but the cinematography alone made it worth it. Saw this Korean film last night on DVD Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter which was pretty interesting.
Haven’t sold a single copy of P.S... Carlos and Geof Huth praised it on Spidertangle, and Geof said he was going to give it a longer treatment, but still nothing. This guy Thomas Hibbard reviewed, but it was a horrible review. He went off on all these unrelated tangents about Kerouac and whatever else, and the opening long paragraph is all about P.S. not being grammatically correct, and should be PS (regardless of whether it is incorrect or not, as I pointed out to him, I didn’t mind being in the same company as the Beatles with their album “P.S. I Love You”), but the fucked up thing is that he even sent it to me and then Wendy asking us our opinion/feedback of the review... I don’t know if that is normal or not, but it just strikes me as weird. What are you going to do. I tried to be thankful, but am surely not going to help him get the review published.
I finished what will hopefully be the last round of edits on The Singing Fish—waiting for Peter to get back to me, but he writes me emails about his spearfishing in the ice exploits. He’s a funny cat. I’ve had some other pieces accepted besides Prague Literary Review, I just can’t remember, oh yah, Word Riot. And both Bedder-½ and I are going to be in the show in Miami at the beginning of March, and are going for it. I spent all day last Saturday “making art,” ripping up things and throwing ink and paint around (meanwhile it snowed over a foot—our first big snowstorm of the year). Should be fun going to Miami and meeting Carlos and that whole group of visual poets, much as I’m trying to not be lumped in with them. I’ve spoken a few times on the phone with this guy Raul Sentenat who is an old friend of Carlos, a Nuyorican poet that runs this magazine Avenue Be. I’ll have to get together with him one of these days and I find out what his deal is, but he sounds like he’s doing something interesting stuff.
I started reading Norman Lock’s History of the Imagination today and I’m hooked. [our next journal entry was posted as Norman Lock’s Life in the Bush of Ghosts ]
[ our standup desk (repurposed bar) in our West Village apartment that was so small we couldn't take photos of it > Michael Cunningham's office was on the other side of the thin wall, we'd hear him talking on the phone]
[ view from our roof down on2 Thompson st (Jan 05) ]
February 27, 2005 – NYC
We’ve pretty much decided that this is our last winter in NY. Its just our time to go. If we can’t go international, then will go elsewhere in the U.S. but we just can’t afford to live in this city anymore, and we have had our fill. So it’s on to a new adventure. We’ve both been looking and applied to jobs in Peru, Italy, Bangladesh and elsewhere internationally, which are probably pretty far-fetched, and in the U.S. Bedder-½ has a good shot at opportunities in Tallahassee and San Luis Obispo, so far. Florida State has already called her references, so obviously they are interested, and Scott’s pushing for her in SLO. Not bad places, I guess. At least they are warmer. Not sure what’s better in the U.S. We are figuring it all out.
Michael’s last day at TPR is tomorrow—he got fed up and got a better job. Peter’s last day was last week. I don’t know what is going to happen, but I am pretty fed up, and obviously would’ve left, but don’t have much of a choice. I report to Larry now, who is a clueless geek. He was giving us this spiel about his expectations of us, blah, blah, and I called a meeting with him to let him know what my expectations were—mainly I had no intentions of leaving the kitchen, especially for what we are getting paid. Jeffrey hired on at $27 which really pissed off Mike who has been there 3 years and is only making $23. I’m just over being pissed about it. I don’t even want to reconcile anything. I am just waiting for another opportunity to present itself. I did a freelance gig on the side for Triumph Learning where Lisa works, got paid $900 for about 20-30 hours of work, so if I can get steady jobs like that, then I could do all right. But still not letting go of TPR, as it’s nice to get paid to just come in 8 hours a day and do whatever, like write stories. And get vacation pay—going to Miami next weekend for a vispo show, and the weekend after that going to Portland.
Pretty much finalized Peter Markus’ The Singing Fish, went back and forth with edits, got an estimate to print (print on demand pretty much), and this weekend did the cover design. We have a blurb from Michael Kimball, and are just waiting for another one from Gary Lutz. So that will be the first “legitimate” (perfect-bound) Calamari Press publication. Oh yah, did our taxes last weekend, we are getting $5000 back—but it took a lot of bookkeeping. I pretty much wrote off everything I could and considered Calamari Press as a big write-off. I think the total from last year was $200 from pay pal, and maybe another $200 directly from bookstores and checks. But the ink and paper alone ran me about $1000. So have a long ways to go before I can make it profitable. Geof Huth wrote a nice review of P.S. about a week ago,on dbqp and Ron Silliman gave the review a nod, though as far as I know he hasn’t even seen P.S., but nevertheless, it seemed to generate some sales, for a while, a few a day. But that has since tapered off.
I’ve been working slowly but surely on reworking Poste Restante, to be my first full-length book. And I also opened subs for SleepingFish 0.75, with a theme of “meme expression”. Finished reading Bullfight one, a book of African Short Stories (edited by Chinua Achebe), highlights included pieces by Abdulrazak Gurnah and Tayeb Salih, and finished The Pink Institution, by Selah Saterstrom, which had some fine work in it. She was recommended to my Christian Peet, and I had sent her some stuff for her to review.
Yesterday we went to the New Museum in its temporary location in Chelsea and saw an exhibit on East Village artists back in the 80s. We were both pretty disappointed, except they were showing the video for Sonic Youth’s "Death Valley 69," which I had never seen before. But for the most part, I didn’t think there enough to classify it as a movement of any sort, and graffiti just doesn’t look right on canvas. Lots of boring videos. And the upper floor, which I guess is the Chelsea Art Museum, was all boring photos of Christo’s boring works. What a waste of money and resources creating these environmental hazards. We saw some other stuff in smaller galleries that was excellent, I just can’t remember names of course. Some guy who put these elaborate pieces made out of mud and garbage and paper.
After Chelsea we headed over to Brooklyn to see Laurie Anderson. Her spoken word was interesting, but her violin has become like Bob Dylan’s harmonica, just notes to fill the space and pass the time. But she definitely has a way of speaking like no other, and tells good stories with a unique perspective. This show was based on a 2-year artist in residency that she had at NASA of all places (the first and last). After that we stopped off at some party Keeno told us about, and caught ten minutes of this band Growing, which was an intense wall of feedback so powerful it rattled your bones. It was pretty awesome. But it was a packed room and the “free” drinks were gone and we just headed home.
It’s supposed to snow again tomorrow, big storm. We had half a foot or snow last weekend, its been a snowy February. Definitely ready for Miami.
[our next journal entry was posted as Miami Viz : A Field Report From the Vispo Show at Durban Segnini Gallery]
March 14, 2005 – Portland
Half of these entries end up in 5 cense reviews, like the last Miami Viz that also had a bunch of pictures. This one is not going up. We got back from Miami last Monday, and then went into work for a few days, I talked to Larry and asked to get $28 an hour or I was leaving. If anything this will trigger a raise for everyone, but I doubt it will be on the order that I am asking. I am getting enough freelance work from Triumph at this point that I can pull the plug on the Princeton Review. I’m a bit apprehensive about working at home full time and losing that daily interaction with my office mates, but its just time to move on to something else, and I think I will be able to focus more on the next more if I am a true freelancer and get all my work done and out of the way so I can look for a new job and also do more writing. I have lots of free time at TPR but it seems I always end up surfing the web or getting involved in the stupid email banter that goes around. So we’ll see. Larry seemed open to upping me to 28 an hour, but he has to run it by Reed of course, who from what little I know is a prick and won’t go for it. I like the people at TPR in my immediate vicinity, but beyond that they all just seem like morons that are full of themselves.
So luckily, I had a short week, two days to be exact. Thursday I worked from home because I had to be there to receive a Fedex for a project I am working on for Triumph. Our flight also left around 5, so Bedder-½ came home and a car picked us up (Doris Duke picking up most of the expenses since Bedder-½ was on work). Headed out to Portland, this time no hitches (always have good luck with Continental). I was able to get some work done on the plane, though it was cramped in a middle seat, and my battery eventually ran out. Got into Portland and was immediately blasted by allergens. The weather has been really nice there this past month or two, warm and sunny. Terrific weather, but it also caused all the cherry trees to bloom in full force. Took a cab to the Heathman hotel. Strange to be in downtown Portland, since I was born and raised in Portland the first 10 or so years of my life and don’t ever remember going downtown. Not that I had any say in that. I guess Portland was different back then. Now it’s a hip little city, lots of coffee shops and strip clubs and bars, lots of alternative kids and hippies, all the girls like “suicide girls.” I woke up in the morning, had breakfast in the Heathman with Bedder-½ and Elaine, and then they went off for a site visit and I went off for a run along the Willamette river. It was a beautiful day, clear skies, clean river, people out jogging and biking, it really is a nice and healthy city. Mt. Hood in the distance, and from some angles you can see Mt. St. Helens (which hiccupped last week, but no activity while we were there). There is a sketchy element to it, but its more confined to these camps of homeless people that seem more unstable than the NY variety. In NYC even the homeless people are the cream of the crop. In Portland (and last weekend in Miami) it seems like a lot of the homeless element are just meth-junkies and street kids up to no good. We didn’t feel as safe there, maybe because there wasn’t as many people on the street, or maybe because we are just not used to it.
After running, I came back and did some work. Bedder-½ came back from her site visit and we went out and explored Portland. The weather was beautiful. We wanted to book a ride on this boat that went all the way to Astoria on the Columbia river, but it doesn’t run until May. That would be worth going back for that. We explored downtown, and old town/china town and the Pearl District. Ate a lot of clams. Went to Powell's books, its huge (a whole city block), and they had a “recommended” slip next to my stuff. Lots of other small funky bookstores and what not. Asked around for Kevin Sampsell but he wasn't working.
Saturday we got up earlier and rented a car and drove to the beach. We stopped off in Beaverton and saw the old Caroline drive house. A few weeks ago mom decided that she wanted to sell it, and this whole mess around this house is resurfacing. Evidently the house is still in our names, but she wants us to sign it back over to her so she can buy a house in North Carolina or Argentina, but I said no way and she is being all pissy about it and sending these emails with Jeff and David CC’ed about how she gave us all this money, and dad really was trying to steal our inheritance, and that really it was her money. Typical shit, mom just needs some sort of affirmation that she helped us out in some way financially, when fact is she hasn't done shit for us and is mismanaging her finances so that by the time she dies we will most likely have her debt to assume. Its all fucked up, and I just want no part in it.
Oh well. Off to the beach. Saw some big trees on the way. Seaside is more built up then it was before. We just drove through and went to Cannon Beach. That’s almost the same, though it seems mossier than it was, and the beach not as big. But its still huge, and the waves are daunting, breaking way off in the distance, and rolling in layers to the shore in big sheets. The Oregon Pacific is so cold and menacing. Not at all inviting to swim in, but nice to look at. Lots of sea gulls and broken sand dollars, but the tide was up so no tidepooling. My allergies were out of control even though we were at the beach (it was windy). I was in misery, my eyes bloodshot, my face itchy. Sneezing fits. We headed on down the coast, stopping a lot. Stopped at the Tillamook cheese factory. And then we drove home along a different route (highway 6).
Tillamook cheese factory
Last time I was in Oregon was 15 years ago or so with Kevin. We also stopped in Tillamook and visited Shirley in Seaside and Uncle Nick in Lake Oswego. I called Nick, but we never got a chance to meet. He had something going on, which was pretty better because we didn’t have that much time as it was. Got back to Portland and I had razor clams and that famous crawfish house in the Pearl district.
Came back to NY early the next morning. We have been out of town this past two weeks, and I think it has given us a fresh outlook on NYC. We are no longer hellbent on leaving. Or at least not to leave hastily for a lesser place. Portland could be a livable place if the weather was better. But all things considered, NYC is the place to be for now (in the U.S.). Bedder-½ just needs to have patience at her job and wait for a good international opportunity to come up. Question is, what do I do?
[ One Long Lash (Tim Barnes + Erica Bricking (colleague of bedder-½'s)) @ Siberia bar in March 2005 ]
April 13 14, 2005 -- NY
Working from home these days. My last day at TPR was almost two weeks ago. During my last week, the EVP [T.], who we had always suspected was a cokehead, died. No details were really given except that they were notified by the police. We had also suspected that [L], the S&M Narcotileptic, was having an affair with T. When she failed to show up to work, it was pretty obvious what had happened, but we never did find out for sure. All we were told was that for legal reasons they couldn’t say why L wouldn’t be coming in, and that T died of mysterious heart attack. It was an appropriate note to end on, though I feel sorry for his family that lived on the West Coast, and probably had no idea of his “rock’n’roll” lifestyle. There wasn’t much fanfare with my departure. Being that they already used up their funds for departure lunches, no official lunch was given for me, though Larry did offer to pay out of his own pocket. We all went out anyway to Café Cubana. So that’s that.
Have done two freelance projects for Triumph, and have 2 or 3 more lined up for now. So as long as that keeps up that is fine. I have some time in between, like today and most of yesterday. Peter Markus’ book went to the printers and I’m supposed to get it back tomorrow. I put together a landing page for him and all that, ready to start moving The Singing Fish. Also actively soliciting for the next SleepingFish being that I am not getting a lot of good ones. Working at home has been fun except the cigarette problem continues. Not only do we have assholes smoking in the hallway, but the guy below smokes like a chimney and it seeps up into our place, despite the fact that I insulated any crack I could find with this insulating foam that our super Angel gave me. I also put weather stripping on the doors and got a draft dodger for under the door, and bought a filter that I am trying to get our landlord to pay us back for. I have written nasty letters, and called the landlord repeatedly, and have confronted the people I’ve seen smoking, but nothing is changing. Hopefully things might be better over the summer (when the smoke isn’t rising with the heat along cracks in the steam pipes and we can have all the windows wide open), but there is no way I can spend another winter in this building unless those smokers get evicted. The nice days, which we are finally get some, I’ve been working in Washington Square, but that is only when I am doing hardcopy edits.
[ a4mentionned cracks where smoke was percolating up thru ]
What else. Bedder-½ is going to California this weekend. She has been keeping herself pretty busy at work, and also with her pottery class that ended, and now a photography class. I’m glad she is happier. About this time last year she wasn’t so happy at Columbia. We still want to leave the country, we are just being more selective and strategic about it rather than just jumping ship at our own expense. I’m not sure what my next more is, still not a lot of job opportunities out there, so I am just hoping to sustain myself freelancing. I did have one interview last week with this small company nearby called Conversagent. They haven’t gotten back to me though. It wasn’t exactly an exciting job, it was for a project manager for this software that simulates a real-time IM helpdesk, so interesting from a language point of view I guess. What else. This months Asian Food Journal article was on Asian BBQ, so we were exploring some Korean BBQ places, as well as Japanese Yakiniku and sakitori. Yes, I have taken up eating meat, I now consider myself a “seasonal vegetarian” but pre-allergy season is a time to eat meat. The trip to Portland wiped me out, and that and the combination of the cigarette smoke has worn me down where I have been mildly sick a lot. Irritated sinuses.
[included in this entry was this review of Kevin Sampsell’s Beautiful Blemish: A Case Study]
we started taking fotos of R shoe in various places, this 1 up on th highline (back when u had 2 sneak up) in March 2005
[ The Singing Fish hit the streets in April ]
June 26, 2005 – NY, NY
Damn, now I’m seriously lapsing on these journal entries not tied to 5 cense reviews. Its summer now. Hot. David is visiting today with Annika. In a few days we are going to Mexico and Guatemala. I think the last I wrote an official journal entry was when I left TPR (and yes, it was confirmed that the EVP was shooting speedballs with the Goth Narcoleptic chic and od’ed). Triumph Learning kept me pretty busy right after that and there wasn’t in any lapse in employment, if anything an overlap as I was doing some stuff for Triumph my last days at Princeton Review. It was hard to get used to working at home at first, but I learned to like it, and it was amazing how much I accomplished. Holy shit, looking back on the last few months, its truly amazing. First off, I published Peter Markus’s book, which came out beautifully and was a relative success. The first batch of 100 went quickly and almost through the second batch of 100. Not like we’re making money or anything, but getting noticed by many and the reviews are just starting to trickle in so still selling. Had a review in Elimae, which I think is what led to me meeting Norman Lock (who had also come to notice the review I had written of his History of the Imagination for 5cense). That led to a correspondence where he first submitted some work for SleepingFish, which I think I rejected initially and then he sent me a piece about this guy who claimed to be on Scott’s infamous Antarctic expedition, which I accepted and then Norman told me there were more where that came from, and he was so impressed with Peter’s book that he wanted me to publish one of his. I was reluctant at first since he is so prolific, but the project was too cool to turn down. Somehow the idea came along that I would recreate some of the art from the original notebooks (that never existed). So I started creating these crazy collage pieces to go with each story, and excerpts from the hand-written journal, all distressed and weathered with spilt ink and water stained, etc. and meanwhile Norman cranked out a bunch more pieces to round out the collection, so now it is an 87 page book, and it is done! I just sent the draft to him. We are both very excited about it. The credit will be given to a fictitious George Belden, with Norman as the editor who discovered the notebooks (in a sanatorium in Vermont) and I “restored” the illustrations. During this time I also put together the next issue of SleepingFish which is going to be about 128 pages, and will be perfect bound (as was Peter Markus’s book). Got a lot of exciting work for that, including Michael Kimball, Daryl Scroggins, James Wagner, Kevin Sampsell, Peter Conners, Christian Peet, and a feature on Mexican Visual poetry, compiled by this guy who lives in Mexico City named Brian Whitener. We had struck up a correspondence since he did a review of Calamari Press for the Chicago Review. A review of The Singing Fish also made the NY Press, which actually all started because of some work of mine that was accepted to Prague Literary Review, and this guy Joshua Cohen who was at PLR at the time then moved to NY to become an editor at NY Press, noticed my work and asked me to write some reviews for them (which I have already written a couple). I got Michael Boyko (of Tarpaulin Sky) to write a review of The Singing Fish for NY press, and now Joshua wants to run a feature on one-man presses of NY (cover story) of which Calamari Press will be one of them. I met Joshua for lunch last week, young (24) Jewish kid with a Euro mentality picked up from 4 years living in Prague. He also is a talented writer, he will have work in the next SleepingFish and he gave me some larger manuscripts which I am reading now. It’s all so incestuous, yes. All these connections between publishers and writers being in each others publications. Really it's just like minds bonding together helping each other out using the resources they have, and there are many others who I have avoided exploiting because I either don’t want to be associated with their publications or their work doesn’t fit in my scheme of things (including some really annoying and psycho publisher/writers using very aggressive tactics). It’s really the only way to beat these big media giants who play the same game but far worse. Safety in numbers.
[piece we wrote for NY Press in August 2005]
So what else. Lately the Triumph stuff was drying up, so I did a short gig for this sketchy fly-by-night place in Union Square that I was surprised the guy even paid me for but I just got the check yesterday. Still writing for Asian Food Journal, though that doesn't pay much. Interviewed at some other crazy places, down on Wall Street, on a conference call with some company in India, that company with the IM application is still interested in me, and last week interviewed with Sony-BMG and they offered me a job for $30/hr. and I asked for $35, they said yes, and I started there an hour later, jumping straight in to this big meeting with all these corporate people, it was strange after working from home. I’ll start there full time (though freelancing as a contractor by hour) when I get back. It’s a bit dull and corporate, I guess the new rage in digital media since I left Napster is Mobile technologies, and those damn ringtones are selling like crazy and that’s essentially what I would be doing is documenting all their processes for Digital Media delivery. It’s in mid-town a few blocks from Bedder-½ which is cool. Meanwhile Bedder-½ is having her ups and downs, but every time she is dissatisfied with her job, something good happens, she finally got her raise, and will be going to Africa, and Elaine suggested she get her Master’s in Public Health (and Doris Duke will pay half of it), which is a great idea, and Bedder-½ is very excited about it, though now she will have to take the GRE so she is studying for that, and it means we will be around in NY for a few more years. I’m sure I’m forgetting some other big life events, but oh well. Life is good, I think. Next entry will probably be a write up on Guatemala and Mexico.
[indeed we then went on a 2-3 week long trip to Guatemala + Mexico, that we chronicled in Terrestrial Visitation to the Contemporary Mayan Underworld : 3-part field report from the depths of 1. Guatemala, 2. Chiapas & 3. Oaxaca]
[ Xing the Usumacinta from Guatemala 2 Mexico]
Aug 19, 2005 – NY (Tampa)
Writing from the Sony building. Been "working" here for a few weeks. Back to what I was doing before at Universal, tech writing. For the Digital Media Division. Weird to be back in this space. Only thing is ringtones and mobile technology is the shit now. They throwing their energy in that direction. People will buy little jingles of a song for $5 to have as their phone ringtone, but people won't buy whole songs for $1. Its depressing. And working here is a complete joke. I tried to quit initially because they were totally lame and didn't provide me with a desk or computer or any sort of guidance. But they asked me to give it a shot, and finally gave me a desk over across the street in the main Sony building on Madison Ave. On the 19th floor, I'm with a bunch of label and A&R people that I have nothing to do with. I haven't been doing much except making existing documents look pretty and charging them for my hours ($35/hr, only after I bitched about it, being as I made $40/hr 3 years ago doing the same thing). These are fucked up times. Or maybe we were spoiled 3 years ago. The price of everything has gone up since then except wages. Anyways, not sure how much longer I will be able to stand it here.
I have also been back at work at the Princeton Review, demanding $30 an hour. And working mostly from home. That's pretty depressing as well, but at least my expectations are not as nebulous as Sony-BMG. Its easy to keep them happy and charge them for twice as many hours as I actually worked since I work at least twice as fast as everyone else. I interviewed at Kaplan today too, which was really more of a meeting about the first project assignment, though I have to complete a sample first to prove my worth. But I think it should be a piece of cake, and that's $35/hr. I think what I need to do is just quit Sony. I also had an interview at MTV a few weeks ago, but it wasn’t really a good fit. It was for a producer position, but more of a Chris Siess type producer (people manager) as opposed to a product manager producer. But there was supposedly going to be openings more on the product development side of things, which ironically are under Marc Ache now that he is VP! And besides Lisa Selden, I also saw Elaine Chang over at MTV, so they seem to be scooping up the old Napstersites. And being at Sony I have to be on AIM, so all my old cohorts are IMing me, including Chris Siess who offered me a job, but of course I would have to move to LA. Fuck that. I don't want to work too much, but since we just went on vacation for 3 weeks in Mexico I feel I have to make up for it. Even though we are doing fine I guess. Paid off Bedder-½'s student loans + saving money. Starting to make some money on Calamari press, though definitely nowhere near profitable. But fun, and it's picking up steam. Ordered 100 more of Peter's book. Getting SleepingFish 0.75 back from the printers. Norman Lock's book is ready to go to the printers. Had a write-up in NY Press last week about Calamari Press. These are exciting times. Not much time for my own writing of course.
Last weekened we went to Florida to visit "uncle" [R] (as he calls himself to Bedder-½) and [G]. That was depressing. To see how the rest of the U.S. lives. Sprawling suburbs. We drove around in a convertible, trying desperately to find something interesting. A patch of swamp. Something. Nothing but housing developments and roads chock full of big brand new cars. I felt bad enough wasting one tank of gas driving around, these people have been driving or idling in traffic their whole lives, doing nothing except using up gas. There are few real human beings in this country questioning their existence, the rest are are just mindless consumers for businesses and oil companies to sell stuff too. Streets are just long drive-thru malls, BUY, BUY, BUY, buy cars, buy gas, buy greasy food. At one point we were so desperate we were looking for a Barnes and Noble to buy books, but couldn't even find that. That's sad. I don't think we could ever live outside of NYC. Which doesn't look like we are going anywhere soon. Looks like Bedder-½ is going to get her MPH, don't know if I mentioned that, probably not as I haven't written a journal entry in forever. But yah, we are in it for the long haul. That will open many doors for her, especially internationally. So we are looking for yet another apartment. No use in staying this dreadful tiny place now if we will be around longer. The second-hand smoke along is reason enough. I feel like I am never breathing fresh air, and my health has suffered I think. And our apartment is just tiny and miserable. I think we can do better, so we have Carlos back on the hunt. He is our pusher as I told him. A pusher of new experience. Its an expensive habit-- moving in NYC. Hopefully this will be the last time. But one more time carrying all that stuff down six flights of stairs. Will I ever get too old for this.
There's probably a lot more to be said. But that's all for now.
[+ that's it for 2005 as far as journal... a few weeks after this we published Sleepingfish 0.75 > in October 2005 we pubished George Belden's Land of the Snow Men > we moved to Essex street in the Lower East side in October > in November we went to Deleware + Atlantic City + also saw Echo + the Bunnymen > in December we went to Montreal + on 12/18 we published ma(I)ze Tassel Retrazos ]
[ Sleepingfish 0.75 published in August ]
[ Land of the Snow Men published in October ]
[ ma(I)ze Tassel Retrazos published in December ]
[ bedder-½ on Essex st, when we lived briefly @ end of 2005 ]
[ Tim Robbins joins X on stage @ Roseland Ballroom, 12/9/05 ]
[... continue to 2006 in next post ]